It’s not often that you stumble across a band that love sludge, and space cakes, so much they launched a KickStarter to fund a trip into orbit as the first stoner rock trio to jam in outer space. Gnob are that band, and thank green we’ve found them, and their new EP, Temple Of Sinners – a mind-melting home brew of cosmic dirge that is guaranteed to blow your ears clean off.
Sadly, KickStarter denied their proposed £498,000 space ritual fund-raiser, but this bunch plough on to higher realms regardless. Opening track ‘Curse Of The Jester’ takes a treacherous plunge into some seriously evil aural gloop, before coming up for air to breath the kind of vocal you’d expect to find on Master Of Reality. Bridging the gap between this filthy offering, and the bold psychedelic dimensions that lay ahead, though, is ‘Ceremony’. Five minutes of what’s only describable as shamanic, almost recalling the sitar-like noodling prowess you’d expect to hear hailing from the mystic Goat commune.
As if your ears weren’t smouldering already, ‘Temple Of Sinners’ morphs into a ten-minute psychedelic close, building Sleep-indebted riffs to monolithic heights before hurling into a wonderful haze of warped eastern jams.
Hit play below and let Gnob’s sludge ooze (careful) from your speakers. There’s nothing short of a masterclass in the dark arts of sludge, doom and psych to be found here.
Earache Records have surpassed all previous attempts of longest doom records by unleashing the beast that is SABAZIUS. 11 solid hours of drone, feedback and noise that is called ‘The Descent of Man‘.
Now, most people will presume that this is a gimmick, but delve a little further into the world of drone and you will find that this is taken with as much seriousness as any other music genre out there. I used to have a flat mate that would have drone blasting through his NS10’s when I got home from work almost daily. The smell of weed and the whiff of booze obviously helped him on this noise-filled journey of feedback and bass hums, but essentially he would sit there for hours on end taking in aural hits of distortion and probably even wanked himself off in the process.
Who knows on the latter, thankfully I never found out, but this ‘ritual’ exists and SABAZIUS has just blown the doors off with 677 minutes of doom tinged tones. This beast, the longest song ever made, (surely?) was recorded live to desk in one continuous session at Foel Studios in Wales over the weekend of 24th and 25th November 2012. The track was produced by Chris Fielding who surely must have fallen asleep at the desk at least once. Try it, maybe it’s for you.
DOOM and Ghostface will be joining forces for a live show in London.
The two MCs will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of Lex Records at the Roundhouse in London on November 5th and tickets are unsurprisingly flying fast, so make sure you pick yours up quickly or end up disappointed.
Saint Vitus, to people in “the know”, are the quintessential doom metal band second only to say, Black Sabbath?! Due to record company issues, band issues and line up changes, not to mention the booze and the drugs (OOOOH THE DRUGS!), this band really shouldn’t be around today. The fact that they are here, relatively coherent and have been touring the states and Europe since 2009 is as close to a miracle as some people will ever see. As a die hard, there is always a nervous anticipation that comes with a Saint Vitus gig. There is always an air of potential disaster when Saint Vitus play. The woes are always eased when Vitus finally show up in one piece if not a little late and a little buzzed.
Tonight, we receive what some may claim to be a collectors set. Opening with the obscure classics ‘Clear Windowpane’, ‘White Magic / Black Magic’ and ‘Shooting Gallery’ comes from out of left field but this change in usual set list is most defiantly welcomed by the doom freaks in attendance. Saint Vitus looks like they have found the love for their music and each other again…kinda. You could almost, if not a few grey hairs, be back in LA during the late 80’s watching these dudes. Wino, who commands vocal duties like a wild-eyed acid casualty, wails like no other. His vocals, albeit a little muffled by the underworld PA, were spot on whilst a maniacal Dave Chandler solo’d into oblivion occasionally preferring his teeth to his fingers.
Vitus plough though ‘Look Behind You’ ‘H.A.A.G’ and the amazing ‘White Stallions’ before the unthinkable happens…..we get hit with a new song. That’s right, a new song……from Saint Vitus. I have a built-in pessimist reflex, so my immediate reaction is to think “cashing in on this doom revival and releasing another album… It’ll never match up to the original stuff”. Oh how wrong I was. ‘Blessed Night’ has the same demonic Vitus sound of old but with added groove and most of all, it is fresh and relevant. Weird for a band that pride themselves on being born too late.
Having sung their praises for this review the songs were not all played without fault. Sure it’s loose as fuck and the band come in to early on a few occasions but who gives a fuck? It’s Saint Vitus! Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s the drunk and dosed up unpredictability of a Saint Vitus show that makes it what it is. Exhibit A; Dave Chandler leaving the stage to solo up close and personal to the people down the front of the stage as bassist Mark Adams and drummer Henry Vasquez dish out cold can of beer to anybody wanting one (which is everybody) before the band reconvene on stage for an encore of ‘Living Backwards’, ‘Dying inside’,’ ‘I Bleed Black’.
A second encore is the final one. Vitus finish off on perhaps their biggest tune, ‘Born Too Late’, an anthem for all in attendance and an especially poignant moment as Dave Chandler dedicates the song to recently lost Vitus drummer Armando Acosta. With a new record on the way and there now two years almost spent touring Europe and the US, it would appear that we are all witnessing the resurrection of this pioneering doom metal band. Against all odds, Saint Vitus lives!